Here is the final round of my survey of the best songs from each country participating the 2014 World Cup.
First, a review of the ground rules:
1. The song has to be released in or after the year of my birth (1981). Otherwise, Pedro Infante’s rendition of “Cielito Lindo” would win, hands down.
2. Regardless of relative quality, if I know of and like songs from a country, I have to chose one of them. This will hurt some countries. For countries where I know multiple songs/artists, I have allotted myself 10 minutes to make a decision on the best song.
3. If I don’t know songs from a country (marked with an asterisk*), I have allotted myself 10 minutes of internet research to find a song. This will also hurt some countries.
4. My rules for a band representing a country is roughly as intuitive as FIFA’s rules for players representing nations. (In other words, any remote affiliation may count.)
5. These choices are definitive of my personal taste in music, nothing more. Please share your favorites in the comments.
On with the show.
Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea
Gotye – “Somebody that I Used to Know”
Perhaps a cliché choice, but the song is fun.
Honorable Mention: Natacha Atlas’s cover of “I Put a Spell on You.”
Khaled – “Aicha”
A classic, gem of a song.
Honorable Mention: Cheb Mami – “Meli Meli”
Leningrad – “Fish”
There may be many fish in the sea, but this song is definitely a catch.
Psy – “Champion”
I know; you thought I’d choose the other song. Not a chance. This was the first Psy song I heard, and it became one of my karaoke songs while I was in Korea. That being said, I was really happy to see “Gangnam Style” become a mega-hit around the world because I think Psy is a quality artist and performer.
Honorable Mention: Psy – “We are the One” (Do you know your Korean movie references?); Witches – “There She Is” (my other karaoke song); Windy City – “Love Supreme”; Windy City – “Carnival”; MC Mong – “Mong’s Party”; Suck Stuff – “Just like a Punk Rocker” (a shout out to Skunk Hell).
That wraps it up. The best songs from all 32 nations participating in the 2014 World Cup. Share your thoughts and suggestions below.
The Rest of the Groups: